Domestic dogs of all breeds have the ability to produce viable offspring when crossed. This is because their genomes remain relatively unchanged, even though their physical characteristics may look very different. A study conducted by a team of researchers revealed that certain traits were more common in certain breeds. For example, German shepherds were found to be easier to control than beagles.
The genetic studies also showed that mixed-breed dogs with a particular ancestry were more likely to act in specific ways. Stray dogs of Saint Bernard descent, for example, were more affectionate, while dogs descended from retrievers in the Chesapeake Bay had a penchant for knocking down doors. Humans have been shaping the appearance and behavior of dogs since they evolved from wolves more than 10,000 years ago. However, it was only about 200 years ago that humans began selecting dogs for the physical and aesthetic traits that defined their breed.
On average, breed only explains about 9% of the variation in a dog's behavior, which is much lower than most people would expect. The findings of this study question current assumptions about dog breed stereotypes, which are used to explain why some breeds are more aggressive, obedient, or affectionate than others. Other behaviors, such as aggression, have more to do with the environment in which a dog is raised than with its genes. One of the behaviors that genetics most firmly predicted was the pugibility of dogs, or their responsiveness to human instructions. Before this era began, more than 2000 years ago, dogs were primarily selected for characteristics fundamental to their functional functions, such as hunting, guarding or herding.
This has resulted in a series of race-specific laws, which may include insurance restrictions or a total ban on owning some breeds of dogs.